Three Rivers Classic Preview: Robert Morris
After winning 20 games for the first time since they began competing at the NCAA’s top level in 2003, Robert Morris has not had the start they were hoping for in 2013-14. The Colonials (2-10-2, 2-5-2 Atlantic Hockey) enter as the reigning Three Rivers Classic champions, but have only won 2 of the 14 games they have played this season.
The Colonials will look to snap a three-game winless streak when they take on Penn State on Dec. 27 in the first round of the Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
The tournament is a chance for the team to rebound and emerge as a contender in the Atlantic Hockey Conference. Robert Morris joined the Atlantic Hockey Conference prior to the 2010-11 season along with Niagara University, increasing the membership to 12 teams.
- Robert Morris set a program record for wins in a season in 2012-13, with 20. The impressive campaign included victories over NCAA Frozen Four finalist Quinnipiac, fifth-ranked Miami (OH) to capture the Three Rivers Classic and an overtime victory over nationally-ranked Niagara.
- Four Robert Morris players — Andrew Blazek (Pittsburgh), Zac Lynch (Pittsburgh), David Rigatti (Pittsburgh) and Colin South (Sewickley) — are originally from the Greater Pittsburgh area.
- Robert Morris is 2-1 all time versus its first-round opponent, Penn State.
- The two teams met this season at a sold-out 84 Lumber Arena in Pittsburgh on Nov. 1. The Nittany Lions won that contest, 5-4.
- When the two teams met this season, RMU junior forward Cody Wydo scored all four goals in the loss, tying a single-game program record.
- Robert Morris was picked to finish 7th in both the AHA Preseason Media and Coaches Poll.
SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
Derek Schooley, a Western Michigan graduate, is in the midst of his 10th season as the head coach at Robert Morris. Since being named the program’s first head coach in 2003, Schooley (126-166-42, 10th season) has coached 41 players who have signed professional contracts and guided the program to its first 20-win season in 2012-13.
In the 2010-11 season, Schooley led Robert Morris to its first national ranking and a fifth-place finish in the team’s first season as members of the Atlantic Hockey Association.
Other highlights in his career at Robert Morris include knocking off No. 1 ranked Miami (OH) twice in the 2009 season. The Colonials defeated Miami (OH) again under Schooley’s tutelage in 2012, capturing the inaugural Three Rivers Classic at CONSOL Energy Center in thrilling fashion.
GP G A PTS +/-
Zac Lynch 14 7 10 17 +3
Cody Wydo 14 12 4 16 -5
Scott Jacklin 12 3 7 10 -3
Colin South 12 2 7 9 -1
Greg Gibson 13 3 3 6 +3
GP-GS GA Avg. Saves Pct. W-L-T
Terry Shafer 12-11 38 3.69 335 .898 2-8-2
Dalton Izyk 3-2 7 4.81 39 .848 0-1-0
Brandon Lane 4-1 6 2.76 58 .906 0-1-0